Sony to take on iPhone and iPad with a new range of portable devices based on Google Android

Japanese giant Sony plans to take on the growing global popularity of iPhone and iPad brands with a new range of portable devices, including tablet computers to compete with the iPad. Sony which announced a business alliance with Google on May 20 plans to base the new products on Google’s Android operating system, the main rival to the iPhone OS operating system. It expects to start worldwide distribution later this fiscal year. Sony already has a strong lineup of portable electronic brands, including the PlayStation Portable mobile videogame console, the Xperia smartphone and the Walkman portable music player.

The new strategy is to wrap those functions together in multi-functional devices. Sony, which started a content distribution service in the United States in April this year, will launch a similar service in Japan next year to provide content such as movies and videogames for the new devices.